What is Truth?
To put it simply,
Truth is …
Hashem ….. G-d…. The Holy One Blessed Be He.
Truth cannot be changed or affected by outside forces. It is not dependent on any conditions. It is constant.
Right off the bat I want to clarify that the idea above is my understanding of a wonderful teaching from Mayanot, the Jewish Learning Institute I attended.
Is Kindness Truth?…
our Teacher asked.
“Yes”, many of us said. The rest of us remained quiet. We knew by now that our Rabbi/Teacher perceived the world beyond customary logic.
He went on to say, Kindness between people is not truth. Why? Because kindness depends on a condition. The condition being there are two or more people. Truth requires no conditions and if any condition is required, it is not Truth.
This teaching is having a profound impact. The simple definition,Truth is Hashem, helps me feel closer to G-d. It brings the unfathomable Hashem down to earth, if even just a little .
The Rubber Meets the Road
Bringing this teaching into every day life, several weeks ago I asked G-d to show me clearly what he wants of me and to give me strength to do it. A couple of days later I ended up being the only person who volunteered to clean up after a fifty person dinner. 😱 I was overwhelmed (and a bit piqued that no-one else volunteered). Yet I did it. Afterwards I remembered I had just asked G-d to show me what he wanted of me. I realized I was clearly shown. Honestly (no kidding) I thanked Hashem from the bottom of my heart for answering my prayer and all my little griping dropped away. 😲
A second example was making the Shul Kiddush a few weeks ago. It surprised me to no end how peaceful and content I felt washing dishes, making egg salad and carrying dishes up and down stairs. Not typically my favorite activity, I sang quietly as I worked alone feeling an underlying joy. Wondering the cause of this pleasure, I realized I felt purpose that this simple meal would help people feel welcomed and a little happier. People might feel closer to Judaism chatting, enjoying a little food and drink, and a dose of love.
Example #3 and G-d is in Charge
My son’s friend Tomer was supposed to fly back to Israel with my son Yaavi last week but the travel agency made a huge error and Tomer was denied his ticket. I have to admit, this time I wasn’t humming a happy tune and was VERY piqued. 😵💫😬😫. However, despite my flabbergasted state about the travel agency’s sort of shocking treatment, I didn’t need to apologize to them afterwards. I kept my FLABBERGASTION in check! I also knew without a doubt what my purpose was in those moments (umm…hours…). Get (alas unsuccessfully) Tomer on that plane.
Tomer on the other hand who is from California, stranded in Washington D.C., on a tight budget, missing Shabbat back in Jerusalem, and receiving no help from the travel agency, kept his cool. As we sat through hours and hours of trying to solve this ballagan (Hebrew for utter chaos), this wise young man reminded me many times, G-d’s in charge.
As a quick epilogue, Tomer has since learned that his mother’s house is going on sale sooner than expected and he is now needed in California to help her. Good thing he wasn’t on that plane to Israel! 😉 Oh he is also now sort of my adopted son and calls me Ima. 🥰
Truth in Action.
Having asked Hashem what he wanted, then being given opportunities to do it, my lightheartedness seemed to drop illogically from the sky. But now it makes sense. It seems that peace is a natural result of acting in sync with Truth. Even when doing actions I don’t normally enjoy and when dealing with difficult situations, this connection with rightness emerges after doing the simple actions… the mitzvahs.
While Hashem is truly everywhere, we often look up when envisioning Him. In that sense, the tranquility did drop from the sky. Either way, on the road or from the sky, Truth when put into action, brings heaven down to earth.
May you live in truth and joy.
Love, Vivi רָחֵל ©
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Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies
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